The belly of the whale of Malm | Science

The belly of the whale of Malm | Science

There was once a couple in love who was caught practicing intercourse inside a blue whale. The couple was never found out and the whale can be found today exposed in the Natural History Museum of Gothenburg, a port city of Sweden. We are going to tell your story.

It all began on October 29, 1865, when the whale appeared stranded among the rocks of Askim Bay, in the province of Østfold, Norway. The fishermen of the town decided to harpoon it until the whale died bled. It was a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) of 25 tons of weight and about 16 meters that, in the end, was acquired by a wealthy merchant of Scottish origin established in Gothenburg, a certain James Dickson.

The aforementioned merchant commissioned to dissect it to August Wilhem Malm, taxidermist and curator of the Museum of Natural History of Gothenburg, a bearded and eccentric man whose knowledge of marine fauna caught the attention of Darwin himself who would come in contact with him for a study on turbot. Well, once August Wilheim Malm agreed to take charge of the whale specimen stranded in the Bay of Askim, a huge operation would be launched that culminated in the transfer of the whale by steamboat to the Lindholmen shipyard, where it would be butchered by the butchers. The viscera were kept inside barrels of alcohol in the museum's courtyard and their skin was tanned for weeks while the skeleton was boiled and cleaned. On the other hand, the meat would be roasted and distributed among the thousands of onlookers who gathered before the corpse.

Before proceeding with the cutting, the taxidermist August Wilhem Malm climbed into the inert and slippery volume of the whale's body, placing himself at the head of the whale's body, from where he gave a lecture about baleenids and other marine giants. The following day, according to its guidelines, the measures were taken to build a wooden structure with the same shape as the whale and where it would stretch its skin once tanned, and then fix it to the frame with the help of tacks, equal to those They use the upholsterers for the sofas.

All this would be completed with the final detail that consisted in the assembly of the jaw with hinges, where visitors could access to the belly of the animal; a gallery equipped with armchairs, tables, carpets and tapestries. In March of 1866 the work would be considered finished, a rare mixture of taxidermy, architecture and interior decoration that, before being permanently located in the Museum of Natural History of Gothenburg, would spend two years traveling through Europe. In this way, the curious would have the opportunity to experience the Biblical destiny of Jonah.

It was in the decade of the 30 when a couple in love decided to reach the belly of the whale. Arranged to become a unit, the couple in love descended to a mythological space where not only digestion takes place but also where the new energy originates. Says the mythographer Joseph Campbell in the work The power of mit (Captain Swing) that, psychologically, the whale represents the power of life imprisoned in the unconscious. "In the same way that water is identified with the unconscious, the whale is identified with life, with the energy of the unconscious that has overwhelmed the conscious personality and, therefore, has to be overcome and dominated."

Perhaps because of something like that, perhaps because of an instinct of mythological origin, the couple in love got excited by the idea and decided to release their sexual tension by putting themselves to work inside a whale until they master the overwhelming energy of the unconscious.

After knowing the fact of love, the museum made the determination to close the mouth of the whale to the public, although acknowledging in a statement his liking not exempt from certain nationalism: "We must content ourselves with the fact that they were two citizens of our own city those who enjoyed this privilege. "


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